John Joseph Travolta was born on February 18, 1954 in Englewood, New Jersey and raised in an entertainment industry atmosphere by Helen and Salvatore Travolta. At the age of 16, Travolta withdrew from high school to pursue his dream career in acting, making his on-stage debut in an off-Broadway production of Rain (1972), followed by roles in the Broadway musicals Grease and Over Here!.
In 1975, Travolta made his TV debut as Vinnie Barbarino in the sitcom Welcome Back Kotter (1975 - 1979) and gathered some much needed attention with his lead performance in the made-for-TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) with Diana Hyland. Travolta transcended into stardom with major lead roles in Saturday Night Fever (1977) in which he earned an Academy Award nomination and the musical film Grease (1978).
Throughout the 1980s, Travolta confined himself to characterless roles and films, including romance film Moment by Moment (1978), Saturday Night Fever sequel Staying Alive (1983), and the romantic comedy Two of a Kind (1983) before making minimal comeback with the family series Look Who's Talking (1989 - 1993) alongside Kirstie Alley. Following a string of additional poor role choices, Travolta took over Hollywood with his starring role in Quentin Taratino's Pulp Fiction (1994) in which he earned an Academy Award nomination. He received even more acknowledgement when he played a thug-turned-Hollywood in the crime-comedy Get Shorty (1995) alongside Danny Devito and Gene Hackman.
He continued to gain a large fan based with many blockbuster hits from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, playing the good guy in the drama-fantasy films Phenomenon (1996), Michael (1996), the comedy drama Primary Colors (1998), the crime-mystery The General's Daughter (1999), the drama A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) with Scarlett Johansson, the drama-thriller Ladder 49 (2004), the Get Shorty trilogy sequel Be Cool (2005), while taking on lead roles as the antagonist in the action thrillers Broken Arrow (1996), Face/Off (1997) opposite Nicolas Cage, and Swordfish (2001) with Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, followed by the action drama The Punisher (2004).
Aside from his praised role as Edna Turnblad in the musical Hairspray in 2007, Travolta began to slip back into his old, unmemorable performances with starring roles in to the star-packed film Wild Hogs (2007), the action flick The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009), Old Dogs (2009) and the action-thriller From Paris with Love (2010).
Travolta's most recent projects include, Oliver Stone's crime-drama-thriller Savages (2012) alongside Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek, the action thriller Killing Season (2013) opposite Robert De Niro, the lead role as John in the biopic Gotti Sr. in Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father (2013) with Al Pacino, and is rumored to be attached to the action film The Killer (2014).
Is John Travolta Gay?
John Travolta's sexual orientation was put under the microscope when a cruise attendant filed a lawsuit against Travolta, claiming Travolta sexually assaulted him on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2009. According to court documents, Fabian Zanzi accuses Travolta of "harmful and offensive contact" via "removing his bath robe, grabbing plaintiff's hand, and forcing his naked person and erect penis against the plaintiff's person."
Travolta's lawyer, Martin Singer, immediately responded to the development, saying, "This is another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims. It is obvious that Mr. Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame."
Travolta's sex life was persecuted again in April when two male massage therapists, referred to as John Doe #1 and John Doe #2, filed a sexual assault lawsuit against the actor, suing him for sexual assault, sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress. John Doe #1 claimed Travolta forcefully groped him during a massage session at the Beverly Hills Hotel in January 16 while John Doe #2 asserted the actor sexually assaulted him at a hotel in Atlanta.
May 2012: John Doe #1 withdraws from the case after he provided an incorrect date of the alleged incident and Travolta's lawyer revealed a restaurant receipt and photograph that proved the star was in New York on January 16 and not in Los Angeles as John Doe #1 claimed. John Doe #1's lawyer, Okorie Okorocha, later told CNN the date should have been changed to January 15, but knew it would negatively effect Joe Doe #2's chance of winning the case.
In that same day, John Doe #1 hired the infamous L.A. lawyer Gloria Allred, who released a statement stating, "Mr. Doe's lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, which means that he is still legally entitled to file a lawsuit against John Travolta if he chooses. We are in the process of conferring with him regarding the next steps, which he may wish to take. Our client and our firm has no further comment at this time."
Late-May 2012: John Doe #2, identified as 40-year-old John Truesdale, is reportedly offered $125,000 to keep quiet by Travolta's dream. Truesdale supposedly turned the money down before firing his attorney Okorocha, ultimately withdrawing his $2 million sexual battery lawsuit against Travolta. He later followed in John Doe #1's footsteps and hired Allred, put has yet to submit a new lawsuit.
Once the rumor of Travolta paying off one of his accusers hit the media, rumors of additional pay-offs developed, followed by assumptions concerning Travolta's sexual orientation. Marty Singer quickly shot down the rumor in a statement to The New York Daily News, stating, "Not one penny has been paid nor do we have any intention to pay any money for these ridiculous and false claims."
June 26, 2012: Zanzi files a 16-page sexual assault lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in which he claims Travolta seduced him after delivering food service to his room and asked the personal room attendant to massage a soar spot on his neck. Once Zanzi was close, Travolta removed his bathrobe and revealed his naked body. The suit went on to say, "Travolta proceeded to forcefully embrace plaintiff, causing plaintiff to continue to experience pain, shock, embarrassment, distress and fear."
According to the complaint, Travolta expressed to Zanzi "that he was beautiful and asked him to 'take me, I will take care of you, please.'"
When Zanzi tried to break away, "Travolta maintained a hard and painful grasp on plaintiff's hands," actions in which the legal documents define as "nonconsensual, inappropriate, extreme, and outrageous."
The suit also asserts that Travolta offered the plaintiff $12.000 in exchange for his "discretion and silence" soon after the incident and enticed Zanzi to circle back to his suite later that night. With Zanzi "in a state of pain, shock, embarrassment, distress and fear," he ignored the offer and reported the crisis to the head authority on the cruise, including the director, human resources manager and a captain.
The suit goes on to explain that the human resources manager instructed Zanzi to fill out a report, but "refused to allow plaintiff to write down any information regarding the nudity and/or sexual contact" with the star and told him "unless he was bleeding and bruised, he did not suffer any injuries and thus could not obtain treatment or any other type of attention."
Rather than take care of their employees, the cruise line dictated for Zanzi to be "restrained" in "a segregated room" until Travolta vacated the ship.
2009 - 2011: Despite the cruise ships' unwillingness to help him, Zanzi continued to contact the cruise line in hopes of filing a claim. Over a two-year span, the cruise line regularly told him the report was on file and to follow-up the next day. He later filed an arbitration claim against the company for unspecified damages. The cruise's spokesman declined to comment.
In response to Zanzi's suit, Travolta's lawyer argued that the star is positive he will "prevail on the merits and that he will be completely vindicated in court," and that "the lawsuit's ridiculous claims are completely contradicted by what Mr. Zanzi told his employer back in 2009 when he was being disciplined for his own violations of company policy," Singer said. "In his handwritten report three years ago, the only physical contact he claimed occurred was allegedly touching my client's neck. The inappropriate conduct he alleges in his lawsuit is absent from his written report he submitted at the time. That glaring omission speaks volumes."
Singer was quick to point out that Zanzi continued to work for the cruise line after "his employer supposedly restrained him in a room on the cruise ship for five days," which challenges Zanzi's credibility. He went on to say, "Now, after waiting three years, and after getting paid to tell his story to the media, Mr. Zanzi has filed this absurd lawsuit."
2010: Carrie Fisher sits down for an interview with Advocate magazine and discusses her divorce from her husband who turned out to be guy. The conversation then makes its way toward a blog she participated in, concerning the gay subject:
"In the September 2009 issue of Out, you participated in its monthly "Can I Be Blunt?" column by sharing 10 things that gay men should know about straight women. One of those things was, "We don't really care that John Travolta is gay." I know you and Travolta go way back, so let's get really blunt here: Does his legal team have any business demanding Gawker remove a recent post suggesting that he's given blow jobs?," the Advocate reporter asked.
"Wow! I mean, my feeling about John has always been that we know and we don't care. Look, I'm sorry that he's uncomfortable with it, and that's all I can say. It only draws more attention to it when you make that kind of legal fuss. Just leave it be," Fisher responded.
Although the hype around Travolta's sexual assault cases has slowly died down, the public's undivided attention to his sex-life has not. The way in which each case was handled further enhanced society's sense of uncovering Travolta's sexual secrets, which has forced some of his fellow performers to come out and defend him.
June 2012: The gay rumors lingering from the failed sexual assault cases are revived following Travolta's former assistant's confession of the star's homosexual tendencies in an interview with National Enquirer. Travolta's assistant, John Edwards, alleges the Saturday Night Fever icon had an affair with his former pilot Doug Gotterba from 1978 to 1994 and is quoted as saying:
"Doug told me right at the beginning of our relationship that he'd had a homosexual relationship with John Travolta in the 1980s. Doug said John was constantly grabbing at his genital area, but he put up with John's sexual advances because working for him was 'lucrative.' I personally saw about two minutes of Doug's home video showing John Travolta sitting at the end of a bed with his shirt off. There were plates of food in front of him. The video appeared to be shot in a hotel room. Doug made it clear that it was very lucrative for him to be what he called John's 'personal right hand man' and homosexual partner."
August 2012: Travolta's sexcapades made headlines, once again, when former pilot and alleged lover Doug Gotterba sat down with National Enquirer in an all-tell interview. According to Gotterba, he first met Travolta when he interviewed for a pilot job in February 1981 - around the time he heard rumors that Travolta was gay. His suspicions were later confirmed when the two developed an affair on September 21. The romance continued until 1986, 5-years prior to Travolta's marriage to actress Kelly Preston. When asked whether or not Kelly is aware of the star's sexual appetite, Gotterba replied, "How can you not be aware of it? . . . I feel bad for Kelly. She's obviously in the middle of it."
Gotterba goes on to say he last saw his past-lover in 1992 and was so curious of the star's new life as a married man so "I just said, 'So John tell me, do you still prefer men or women now that you're married?' And he answered me, 'Well, Doug, I still prefer men.' And I said, 'Okay.'"
He topped off the interview with an inside look at Travolta's inner sex beast, especially when it comes to making a sex tape, saying, "He wanted to film it, and I said no. . . I told him that he was oversexed. He wanted it too much."
Ensuing its publication, Travolta's camp admittedly refuted the former assistant and pilot's allegations.
November 7, 2012: In an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC, Travolta's Look Who's Talking Now co-star Kirstie Alley addresses the swirling rumors that he is gay, saying, "I know John. With all my heart and soul, he's not gay. I think it's some weird way, in Hollywood, if someone gets big enough and famous enough, and they're not out doing drugs and they're not womanizing, what do you say about them?"
She goes on to express her undying love for Travolta, telling Barbara, "Believe me, it took everything I had inside, outside, whatever, to not run off and marry John and be with John for the rest of my life."
Hollywood is notorious for trying to 'out' a celebrity before they can come to terms with it and better known for dragging a star out of the closet who is extremely straight. When it comes to Hollywood and the stars that run the show, nothing is off limits and is the sole reason why the Travolta gay rumors continue to gain momentum. Whether he'll come out and play or not, time will tell. Or another sexual assault case will.
John Travolta Wife & Dating History Timeline
1976 - 1977
Travolta and Diana Hyland first met while filming the made-for-TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) and immediately fell for each other. The couple's love flourish for over a year before Hyland died from breast cancer in 1977.
1989 - Present
Travolta and actress Kelly Preston first laid eyes on each other on the set of the comedy The Experts (1989). The two eventually got married on September 12, 1991, by a Scientologist minister in a midnight ceremony at the Hotel De Crillon, located in Paris. They went on to have three children: Jett (b. 1992), who later died from a seizure disorder (2009), Ella Bleu (b. 2000) and Benjamin (b. 2010).